Plans to create new town recreation area

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RAMSEY Commissioners are planning to borrow £68,000 to create a new recreation area in the town centre.

The Tower Street plot, presently used as temporary car parking, owned by the Department of Social Care – is the site the commissioners are considering for recreation.

Facilities to be provided will be the subject of public consultation.

Options to be considered may include a youth shelter, planting and seating. The scheme will require planning consent.

Subject to borrowing over 10 years, the annual costs will be £9,092.16 (1.36p in the pound) rate.

The scheme is revealed in the commissioners’ rates statement, which explains how the authority enabled the town rate to be pegged at 332p in the pound. The total net rateable value used in fixing the rate was £668,410, an increase of £2,495 on the previous year.

There will be no wage increase for commissioners’ staff, as the board adopts the freeze on public pay awards laid down in the Manx Budget.

There are currently 51 people employed in full and part-time positions. Any posts released through resignation or retirement will be reviewed with a view to absorbing duties within existing staff resources where possible.

Where it is not possible to absorb staff losses, consideration will be given to acceptable reductions in service levels before posts are advertised for reappointment.

In the past year, new systems for housing management, rent collection and administration have enabled the board to consider further staffing efficiencies, alongside the improvement of services.

Town Hall library opening hours were reviewed and late night opening was discontinued, enabling savings in staffing costs, heating and lighting.

Library services are to be reviewed to ensure they are relevant, proportionate to the needs of the community and provide value for money for ratepayers.

A review of refuse collection services resulted in efficiencies that will reduce the cost of the domestic refuse service by more than £11,000 in the coming year.

The average domestic waste arising in Ramsey has reduced from 3,060 tonnes to around 2,800 tonnes per year, which results in savings.

The substitution of bedding plants in the Mooragh Park by perennials has resulted in a saving equivalent to a 4.7p rate.

Provision of £21,000 (3.14p) (representing the loan charges on borrowing over 10 years) is made to meet the cost of repairs to Station Road car park. The sum of £10,000 (1.5p) will be spent on areas of defective tarmac in other car parks in the town.

Ongoing improvements to the woodland paths at Mooragh Park will cost £10,000.

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